previous next

[95] 1728 formed a brief partnership with Hugh Meredith; and in 1730 married and set up for himself. In 1728 he founded the famous Junto Club for reading, debating, and reforming the world — an institution which developed into a powerful organ of political influence. Shortage of money in the province prompted him to the composition of his Modest inquiry into the nature and necessity of paper Currency (1729), a service for which his friends in the Assembly rewarded him by employing him to print the money-“a very profitable job and a great help to me.” Forestalled by Keimer in a project for launching a newspaper, Franklin contributed in 1728-9 to the rival journal, published by Bradford, a series of sprightly “Busy-body” papers in the vein of the periodical essayists. Keimer was forced to sell out; and Franklin acquired from him the paper known from 2 October, 1729, as The Pennsylvania gazette. To this he contributed, besides much miscellaneous matter, such pieces as the Dialogue between Philocles and Horatio concerning virtue and pleasure, the letters of “Anthony Afterwit” and “Alice Addertongue,” A meditation on a Quart Mug, and A Witch trial at Mount Holly. In 1732 he began to issue the almanacs containing the wit and wisdom of “Poor Richard,” a homely popular philosopher, who is only the incarnation of common sense, and who is consequently not, as has been carelessly assumed, to be identified with his creator.

By the time he was thirty Franklin gave promise of becoming, by a gradual expansion of his useful activities, the leading Pennsylvanian. In 1736 he was chosen clerk of the General Assembly, and in the following year was appointed postmaster of Philadelphia. He made both these offices useful to his printing business and to his newspaper. In compensation, he used his newspaper and his business influence to support his measures for municipal improvements, among the objects of which may be mentioned street-sweeping, paving, a regular police force, a fire company, a hospital, and a public library. As his business prospered, he expanded it by forming partnerships with his promising workmen and sending them with printing-presses into other colonies. In 1741 he experimented with a monthly publication, The General magazine and historical chronicle for all the British colonies in America; this monthly, notable as the second issued in America, expired with the

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Benjamin Franklin (3)
Samuel Keimer (2)
Philocles (1)
Hugh Meredith (1)
William Bradford (1)
Anthony Afterwit (1)
Alice Addertongue (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1728 AD (3)
1729 AD (2)
1741 AD (1)
1736 AD (1)
1732 AD (1)
1730 AD (1)
October 2nd, 1729 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: